Oman has a desert climate with a hot, humid coastline and a dry interior. The temperatures vary greatly with the seasons. It’s coldest in the winter, when temperatures hover around a balmy 16 degrees. The summer can be three times as hot, reaching 49 degrees. To escape the heat, head to the southern Dhofar region, known for its cooler conditions.
When to fly to Oman
October to April, taking in Christmas and New Year's is high season. That's when sun-starved Europeans flock to Oman for its beaches and climate.
July to September when the temperatures are sizzling hot is the low season.
Getting around Oman
Oman Air, the domestic airline of Oman Aviation Services, flies to Salalah, Sur, Khasab, Diba and Masirah. The Oman National Transport Corporation offers regular bus service to many cities including Salalah, Nizwa, Sohar and Dubai. Small vans - the baiza bus – follow fixed routes and are a cheaper alternative to taxis. The road system is good and car rental companies include the majors: Hertz, Budget and Europcar as well as local companies
Oman insider information
- Muscat: Muttrah Souq occupies a large area behind the Corniche of Muttrah. It’s a great place to soak up the atmosphere and pick up some frankincense or jewellery. Don’t buy anything without haggling.
- Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is open to the public. It has space for 6,500 worshippers in the main prayer hall and 750 female believers in the women’s musalla. It also has the world’s largest Persian carpet.
- Museums: Bait Al Zubair displays handicrafts, jewellery and weapons. In the museum’s grounds are a model of a traditional mountain village and Omani fishing boats. The Muscat Gate House Museum occupies a fortress-like building and displays artifacts from Neolithic times to the present.
- Al Alam Palace, one of the Sultan’s residences, is close to the ancient forts of Jalali and Mirani.
- Scuba diving: Oman’s coastline is more than 994 miles long and has an abundance of sealife. It is also possible to dive the 83-metre (272 feet) Al Munassir, a ship sunk by the Royal Oman Navy in 2003 in Bandar Khairan, close to Muscat.
- Bull fighting Omani-style is very different to the Spanish version. In Oman, two Brahmin bulls square up to each other and “fight” until one is defeated (usually knocked to the ground or runs away). Find fights on Friday afternoons in winter in Seeb, Barka, Sawadi, and Sohar along the Batinah coast in the north of the country.
- Camel racing is another must-see in Oman. The races are generally held on holidays such as National Day.
- Visit the sites where marine turtles lay their eggs. Turtles are a protected species in Oman and permits are required to visit the sites (include Ras Al Had, Ras Al Junayz and Masirah Island). Hotels and tour operators sell these permits.
- Trekking and mountain climbing: Oman boasts rugged mountains, cliffs, valleys and wadis.